We spend every moment leading up to it planning parties and costumes. It's all we talk about all year long, but once the Epiphany on January 6th rolls around, it's finally Mardi Gras and we are all ready to hit the streets and celebrate! Carnival Season isn't just Shrove Tuesday, y'all -- it's every day. It all seems so crazy when you see it through the lens of social media. But, once you experience Mardi Gras I can tell you there's no turning back. Mardi Gras is a part of you once you roam down the streets of New Orleans. The streets come alive with people are dancing in costumes and singing. If you ever get the opportunity to experience the magic of Carnival, take it and run with it. You will come back from New Orleans a changed person -- for the better. These are some of the things I love about the best time of the year.
1. King Cake
Don't lie... you've had to take a pedicab to your car because you couldn't carry all those beads.
Riding in style.
The perfect way to pull your outfit all together.
The best seat in the house.
The crazier the better.
To hide the hangover.
8. Margaritas from Superior Grill
Come to mamma!
10. Krewe D'Etat's Satire
11. Muses' Shoes
The perfect way to make a fashion statement.
12. Light Up Throws
Especially the ones from Endymion.
13. Zulu Coconuts
Please try not to get hit in the head by one of these. Thank you!
14. Tucks Toilet Seat Sunglasses
To block out the haters.
The currency of Carnival.
This parade is on fireeeeeee. Alicia Keys actually sang that.
17. 610 Stompers
Anyone can be a dancer... even these guys.
18. The Dogs of Barkus
The cutest king you'll see all Carnival long.
19. Alcohol... and lots of it.
Beer, Jell-O shots, vodka... you name it somebody's drinking it!
Work it, ladies!
21. Marching Bands
Makes you want to jump in and start twirling a flag.
All Hail Rex!
She's beauty. She's grace. She's headed to F&Ms after the ball!
24. Dancing in the streets
Don't be shy... jump on in!
25. Mardi Gras Indians
This is something you can't live without seeing. Truly mesmerizing.
You can never have too many go-cups.
27. Mardi Gras Mambo
Down in New Orleans where the blues was born...
28. The Tradition
We all do Mardi Gras a little different, but that's what keeps us coming back for more.
31. and Gold
32. Bead Trees
Only blooms once a year.
The debutantes look stunning (and not to mention the queen looks divine waiving her scepter and gracefully strutting around the room carrying a 50 pound mantel), the tableau is always puzzling but entertaining, and the captain and lieutenants' costumes are always spectacular. I can't even begin to explain the magic of a Mardi Gras ball.
34. Fried Chicken
Still trying to throw my beads into his mouth.
36. Tinfoil Floats of Mid-City
37. Moon Pies
I dream about these.
38. The Token "Fun Policeman"
You know... the one who starts the wave and is the entertainment until the parade starts.
39. Greasy Poles
Don't let those crazy people climb up into your homes during the parades, y'all!
40. Red Beans and Rice
You already know what I'm eating on Lundi Gras.
41. The Decorations
This isn't a joke and should be taken very seriously.
42. Day Drinking with family and friends
There's nothing better than sipping on a beer and people watching!
43. Mardi Gras Striped Shirts
Thank you, Perlis!
44. Voodoo Zapp's
I'll let the picture do the talking...
45. Finding the Baby in your Piece of the King Cake
Congrats, you just won Mardi Gras! Don't forget to bring the king cake to the next party.
46. Lieutenants on HorsebackThe keeper of the doubloons.
47. Neutral Ground
I'm not saying which one's better...
48. Sidewalk Side
...But I will tell you which one I prefer (this one).
49. Beads on Fences
50. Mardi Gras Flags
Gotta rep your krewe!
Oh, and I guess this is kind of cool, too...
51. The Clearing of the Streets
Time to clean up our acts and start preparing for the next Carnival.
This is only a small taste of what Mardi Gras in New Orleans has to offer. There are so many more traditions, marching groups, and parades to see. Laissez les bon temps rouler!